Genealogy Tip O’ the Day: Day Camp, Overnight Camp, Band Camp – Record Them All!
Growing up in Cleveland I loved when summer came and I got to go to camp. I think I attended four in my youth. Great memories of some great times for sure, but there is one clinker in this from a genealogy standpoint.
I can only remember the names of two of the four camps: Camp Kid and Camp Robin. The other two? Gone forever! Oh how I wish I would have written down their names somewhere!
My wife has wonderful recollections of her summer camping days spent at Camp Esquagama operated by 4-H. While not under the direction of 4-H any longer, she was happy to learn recently that the camp continues to serve youth from across her home state of Minnesota and the surrounds area as well.
Our children also had some wonderful camp experiences while we lived ‘Up North’ in Minnesota. From Camp Acoma, a day camp, and overnight camp at Camp Mishawaka, to Skijammers, a skiing camp in the winter months, our children enjoyed their experiences as campers as well.
This year our eldest grandson is off to a camp of sorts. He is spending a month with the CISV International in Costa Rica and from what we hear this is another wonderful camp experience within our family.
I remember my mom talking about going to camp, but sadly I did not record what camps they were. My dad, while never able to attend a camp, would love to tell us how some of the best days of his life were spent while he got to camp with this Boy Scout troop while growing up in Cleveland.
These great memories got me to thinking I needed to begin to capture these places and experiences while I worked on our genealogy. So now I am in the process of adding in ‘Camping Experiences’ for anyone in our family tree where I come across this information.
In doing so I have found an interesting genealogy phenomenon. It seems that when you get someone reminiscing and sharing their camp experiences it evokes some great stories, terrific memories, and opens the flood gates to all kinds of wonderful family information.
Furthermore we preserving names of locations and camps that may be now long gone and adding another very colorful thread that is woven into the fabulous and colorful tapestries that are our family history. It is a great example of why I love genealogy so much – there are simply so many aspects and avenues to follow to bring our ancestors and our family members’ stories to life!
So perhaps you’d like to begin adding, if you haven’t already, ‘Camping Experiences’ to your genealogy work. My advice is to give it a try for sure. If nothing else be certain to add it to your repertoire in your discussions with family members….few topics can get the memories flowing as nicely as when you mention ‘Summer Camp’!
Enjoy your trip to camp!
Onward To Our Past®